Table Mountain and Robben Island

Table Mountain and Robben Island

Cape Town, South Africa, Africa
Ashanti Lodge Gardens

This morning we had breakfast at Ashanti and then got a taxi to the Table Mountain lower cable station. Even though we had bought tickets online about two months ago, we had to wait in a ridiculous line for 1.25 hours. When we first arrived, we thought the line was just for people buying tickets, and I even laughed at all the people who had to stand there and wait. Then I was told that we had to wait in that line, and I felt like crying.

When we finally got to the front of the line, the cable car to the top was really fast. The coolest thing about the cable car is that it has a rotating floor so no matter when you get in the car, you are guaranteed to get a good view at some point. From the top there are a lot of paved paths, and then some other walks you take further afield. We decided to take a hike to Maclear’s Beacon, which is the highest point on Table Mountain. It was a really easy 45 minute hike up to the beacon, and then we had a chance to sit and look out over the city and Devil’s Peak. The view was stunning and we couldn’t have asked for better weather.

We took a different route on the hike back to the cable car, and it gave amazing views over the whole city. We got the cable car back down and got a taxi to the V&A waterfront. This is where the ferry to Robben Island departs from, and we had our tickets already for a 3pm departure. We had enough time to grab and sandwich and drink to have on the boat, and we really needed it. We were starving!

It was a half hour boat ride to the island, and then we got on a bus to take a tour of island. It was a really cool way of seeing the island, because it is a lot bigger than I thought. We saw the old prison, the new prison, the lepers graveyard, and the bar that the officers drank at. We got our first glimpse at African penguins on the coast, overlooking Cape Town. I can see why the penguins hang out here. It’s a great view!

After driving around the island for about 45 minutes, they dropped us off at the “New Prison”. This is where we met our guide Sparks, who had been a political prisoner there for seven years. It was amazing hearing the stories from someone who was actually there, and at the same time as Mandela. The tour was really well done, and while it reminded me a lot of Alcatraz, to get a tour from an actual prisoner added a lot to the tour. We had a little time to walk around at the end of the tour before getting back on the boat to head back to Cape Town.

We found another restaurant at the V&A called City Grill for dinner. I had the Bobotie for dinner, and it was good, but the food and service weren’t as good as at Karibu. Even still, the food was great for the price. I really like the fact that we can have such nice meals for such good value. I can see this happening for the whole trip, and I’m very excited about it.

We stopped for a drink and some cheesecake at Cape Town Brewery before getting a taxi back to Ashanti. The bar was a little wild with a bunch of drunken people singing along with the DJ. I was so tired after such a busy day, so we just stuck around for one drink and then came back for a good night’s sleep.

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